Launch Pad Contest: Boosting You Out of the Slush Pile.
The category is General Fiction, but there was nothing mundane about the entries. We had several excellent ones, and the judges had to get very picky in order to choose a winner.
After going through each submission with a fine-toothed comb, the judges came to the conclusion that there is, in fact, one that stands out from the crowd.
The winning entry this month seemed to both judges to be ready for publication just as it is. The story has depth and is well developed. The characters are three-dimensional. The action sucks in the reader immediately and the plot is layered with subtext. This is just plain good writing!
It's our pleasure, therefore, to announce the winner of the General Fiction category: The Last Resort by Kerry Ann Morgan of Altamonte Springs, Florida.
You'll find Kerry's submission below. One thing I should mention: the manuscript isn't targeted for a Christian audience, but this blog is read primarily by Christians. In the opening scene, the protagonist is under a lot of stress and responds in a believable, natural way. Because of the makeup of our audience, however, we were concerned that the language in a couple of places might turn off some readers; so we've taken the liberty of changing a word here and there. We're not suggesting the author change the manuscript; we're merely editing it for publication on this blog.
That said, we're sure you'll be impressed with the first chapter. Enjoy!
Technically, I crashed box first.
“Cuss!” I pushed myself up, careful not to place my hand on any fragments of my great-grandmother's china, now decorating the driveway with sprays of delicate roses and gold leaf. My grandma had bestowed this set upon me at my bridal shower. While I'd sold our fancy Wedgwood to catch up on the electric bill, I'd dreamed of eating turkey dinners with my own grandkids off this set someday. Not anymore. As I lifted a busted box corner, a dozen smashed dinner plates spilled from their tissue wrappings to the ground. I cradled a teapot, now resembling a cracked egg. A gallon of superglue couldn’t put it back together again.
“Ivy, honey―any particular reason you're slinging tea sets at me?” As Melinda placed her hand on her hip, the glare from her diamond ring flashed like heat lightning.
I wiped the sweat from my upper lip, smearing a dirt mustache across my pale skin. My frizzy ponytail sprouted from a NASCAR cap I'd dug out of the garage. Dirt striped my tank top and my cut-offs sported a glaring hole in the rear. I hadn't bothered with makeup or razor blades for weeks, and blood oozed from my stubbly knee.
“Yeah, well, forget the Divorce Diet. The weight of widowhood can whittle any woman down to the nub.”